WA migration changes welcome but Federal action needed

CCIWA has welcomed the State Government’s announcement of changes to its migration policy but warned skilled labour shortages still needed to be addressed at the Federal level. 

Premier Mark McGowan on Sunday (August 21) said a shake-up of the State’s migration program would include adding 106 occupations to WA’s skilled occupation list, bringing the total list to 276. 

The State would also temporarily waive the $200 application fee and has set up a Skilled Migrant Employment Register to connect new skilled migrants with WA jobs.

Other temporary measures include: 

  • halving the requirement to have an employment contract from 12 months to six months; 
  • reducing requirements for applicants to demonstrate sufficient funds; 
  • removing additional English requirements for professional and manager occupations, and; 
  • reducing work experience requirements for the 2022-23 program year to attract more skilled workers to WA. 

The Premier said the temporary changes to WA’s skilled migration pathway were expected to be implemented over the next month. They were introduced following feedback directly to the Premier during his recent mission to Europe, the United Kingdom and Qatar. 

Announcement welome

CCIWA CEO Chris Rodwell said the announcement was “positive, with welcome reductions in the cost and complexity of accessing the workers our businesses need”. 

He said the State Government “can only go so far” and business will need the Federal Government to seriously address these shortages at the upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit, and more immediately. 

He added: “WA businesses have been training more people, more quickly, and we see apprenticeship and trainee numbers at recent historic highs. But we simply can’t fill the volume of critical roles throughout the workforce, with shortages of people at every skill level.  

“We’re facing into complex global conditions, and we’ll want to see action across industrial relations, productivity, skills and tax in order for our economy to be fighting fit.” 

WA received 8140 places in the Commonwealth Government’s State Nominated Migration Program for 2022–23 — 4950 more places than the previous year and the third largest allocation overall, after New South Wales and Victoria. 

Of the 106 extra occupations, 46 are health occupations. As well, 33 of the new occupations align with four current Designated Area Migration Agreements in place in WA regions, which will provide a permanent migration pathway for skilled migrants already working in regional WA. 

The Skilled Migrant Employment Register, launched last month, connects skilled migrants with WA jobs. 

For more information and to access the migration portal visit migration.wa.gov.au.

For general employee advice and guidance, contact CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or email advice@cciwa.com. 

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